Pinnacle Racing, Sergio Lopez‘s post-graduate training group based out of Virginia Tech University, had a racing day on Saturday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. While many of the program’s best-known swimmers are still stuck abroad (like Olympic champion Joseph Schooling), there were a handful of impressive results out of the pool in the speed session.
Lopez gave the group 40 minutes to warmup, 20 minutes to prepare, and then they had to race. They were able to chose any 3 events (from 50 to 200 yards), and they swam their races on a 20-minute time interval.
Among the highlights of the group was Blake Manoff, who will enter his junior season at Virginia Tech this fall.
Manoff wore a tech suit for his swims that were close to his lifetime bests.
Blake Manoff‘s Race Day Results:
- 100 Fly – 46.43 (21.73 split)
- 100 Free – 43.53 (20.64 split)
- 50 Free – 20.06
Manoff has been 19.66 in the 50 free, 42.64 in the 100 free, and 45.60 in the 100 fly. All 3 of those best times were done this spring either at the ACC Championships or a last chance meet. He was qualified to race at the NCAA Championships before that event was eventually canceled because of the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic. He ranked 18th in the NCAA last season in the 100 fly.
“Our practices since we have started back have been very generic with no race pace component,” Lopez said of his team’s training since they were able to get back in the water post-quarantine. “Our Dryland has been getting pretty demanding and more with the heat and humidity since we did them outside.”
Lopez also highlighted the efforts of Yusuke Legard, a British National who finished his college career at Duke in 2019. Unlike Manoff, he was not wearing a technical racing suit, rather donning just a standard practice suit for his swims.
Legard’s Best Times:
- 100 Free – 44.95 (21.59)
- 100 Free – 45.01 (21.54)
- 50 Free – 20.44
Legard has been as fast as 19.73 in the 50 free and 43.33 in the 100 free – in a tech suit.
Other swimmers participating include Virginia Tech undergrads Henry Claesson, Thomas Hallock, Hunter Cassady, and Lopez’s son Cobi, who is an Olympic Trials qualifier and rising sophomore at Virginia Tech.
While colleges aren’t yet allowed by NCAA rules to have workouts with coach instruction or with more than ‘conditioning,’ those rules don’t technically apply to USA Swimming club team practices. Many programs have used that loophole to hold practices with some of their current collegiate athletes, usually at off-campus facilities.
Videos of the swims are below.